Barring any unexpected delays, the Boys & Girls Club of the Hatchie River Region, headquartered in Covington's Frazier Park, will open its doors on Aug. 11, chief professional officer Dr. Tracey Johnson announced Tuesday.
And space is still available for enrollment. Applications for student involvement in the program are being accepted until July 31.
"We're excited to start this next chapter in Covington," Johnson said. "We're going to kick it off with an open house and what's being called A Great Future Starts Here event on July 31."
The Hatchie River Region chapter will participate in the local event by allowing the public to tour the facility and giving out backpacks to students currently enrolled in the program.
There will also be a ceremony honoring some of the organizations that have helped the new chapter begin and refreshments will be served.
"This is just a way to say thank you for what they've done and hopefully to help get partnerships with other organizations to help keep it going," Johnson told the board of mayor and aldermen. "We're very excited for this to finally start and to be a part of it. Just hearing the parents say they're grateful to have a place for their children to come that they feel is safe and someplace for the kids that are struggling, educationally, and some that just need a little guidance and direction to help them progress in life … this club, I think, will be a catalyst for a lot of change for our youth in this area."
The only requirement for membership in the club is open to children ages 5-18 who are enrolled in school. There is no residency requirement and the club welcomes children from all over Tipton County as well as other counties.
"We're hoping this club can be the charter club and we can have extensions in other areas," Johnson said.
Vice mayor John Edwards expressed his excitementfor the club's opening next month and said he's very hopeful it will bring about much-needed changes for the community.
"So many times, when people talk about the ills of the community, they talk about things like kids not having anything to do, disciplinary issues with kids and educational deficiencies we have in our community," he said. "This is a magic bullet that will take care of those things and some others. I think this will do big things as far as improving the future of Covington."
Membership applications can be picked up at city hall or downloaded from www.bgchrr.com.